Metro’s War on Overtime

Corrections Officer Daniel Coyne

If you haven’t heard about the Department’s new overtime policies, then you probably don’t have anything to worry about. But if you are someone who likes to spend your weekends keeping the community safe by working overtime, then you should be concerned. The Department has declared war on its hardest-working employees, slashing the number of shifts and hours that you can work. As it stands right now, the Department has taken a stance that if you work more than five slots of overtime in a two-week period or if you work more than a 16-hour shift, then your officer safety is at risk and the quality of your home life is poor.

The five slots of overtime change are for corrections officers, and the 16-hour shifts are for police officers. Since the Department is so concerned about your quality of life, they have moved to limit and restrict the number of overtime hours that you can work. I asked if the Department had proof of, or an example of, any incidents where an officer was hurt or their safety was jeopardized at all because of the amount of overtime they had worked. Of course, they did not know of any incidents to reference to. 

I find it hard to believe that this issue is about the officer’s quality of life or their safety. It is not a coincidence that this issue came up right after Transparent Nevada published last year’s list of salaries. The brass on this Department does not like that its officers are making more money than them, so they are attempting to stop you from being able to do it. The Department has a truthfulness-at-all-times policy that I believe they violate here. They are attempting to limit your overtime under the guise that they care about your safety and home life when they really only care about Transparent Nevada publishing how much money you make. 

In the policy, there are clauses that allow you to violate the policy when they say it’s OK first because it helps them fill staffing. So, it’s not a safety issue if they allow you to do it because it helps them. But when you do it on your own, then that makes it unsafe. This new policy that the Department is attempting to enact is a blatant attack on its hardest-working officers — the officers who are always willing to stay late or pick up extra shifts when requested to do so. 

I want to assure you that all of us at the PPA are fighting this unfair policy change for you and that we see through the Department’s fairytale story about caring and safety.  We see this for what it is: an attack on your paychecks. So, the next time your supervisors ask you to go above and beyond and stay late or to help out on your day off or a holiday, just remember that this is how they repay you for your hard work.